Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Creative Crafts from Books by Abie Longstaff

I love the idea of books being cross-curricular, with 'We're going on a bear hunt' used to look at landscapes and nature, or 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' to discuss life-cycles. My favourite way of playing with the ideas in books is to make crafts. I think it brings the stories alive.

Some bloggers do this very well (see So do some schools. My daughter's class recently had to make the garage from David Almond's Skellig out of a shoebox, a project my eleven year-old loved.

When I write, I like to play around with different creative tools like paint, pencil and fabric. I find it helps me connect with the story and it creates a strong foundation to take to schools and lit fests later. Children love hearing about what has inspired the books and they have a lot of fun recreating or playing with the objects.

For Fairytale Hairdresser, of course, I have long-haired dolls for the children to style.

I like to have a range of dolls, representing the different fairy tale characters, even if it means having to source a mermaid tail, or dye a doll's hair to find the right shade of purple to become the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tail made by Sally Channon (Salstuff)

Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty

Hair dyed with sharpie ink

There are lots of craft projects you can make with children based on their favourite books, and some schools have come up with wonderful ideas. Grow House Forest School in Switzerland had a Fairytale Hairdresser craft day, with activities including building the Three Pigs' houses (and testing their strength using a hairdryer!)


Children can do drawings of their favourite characters (see Lauren Beard's 'How to Draw a Singing Mermaid' in the Guardian here

They can make maps tracking journeys across the book

Map from The Magic Potions Shop, illus by Lauren Beard
or buckets of potions

and there's ultimate tribute: dressing up as your favourite book character!

Kittie Laceys on World Book Day

For my Magic Potions Shop series, I've been busy making teeny potions bottles.

At events, we've been imagining our favourite potion (Flying Potion? Invisible Potion? Exploding Powder?) and drawing it or making it with glitter or feathers.

Let me know your craft ideas - I'm always looking for more projects! :)

(You can find lots of crafts, including activity sheets to download, on my website

1 comment:

Catherine @ Story Snug said...

I am a huge fan of using books to stimulate craft and other fun learning ideas. Story sacks are another great way of inspiring book related crafts.